Friday, June 21, 2024
HoloNet News




Expedition cruise ship pulled free after running aground in Hiparion Belt

You wouldn’t be the first to confuse the planet Hiparion with the Hiparion Belt.

“We hear a lot from people who want to see Hiparion, and we have to point them in a different direction,” laughed Pierto Tian, chief spokesperson for Public Affairs for the Corporate Sector.

It’s a shame because Hiparion Belt is equally breathtaking in an entirely different way.

“It’s this protected area of this bay that is just chock full of wildlife,” Tains said. “The whole panoply of wildlife is there, and then you have these massive draft planets that rotate past the tidewater of the water planetoids … so it’s pretty special.”

Here’s what you should know about Hiparion Belt, the latest preserve in HoloNet’s yearlong series.

What’s the difference between Hiparion and Hiparion Belt?

“I mean, they both have planetoids near them, but they couldn’t be more different,” Tain said. “One’s entire land-based, upon the Sector Divide there in the belt, and then there’s Hiparion Belt, which is almost entirely affected by the planetoid zone.”

Hiparion also gets many more visitors. More than 2.9 million people visited the New Republic preserve last year, making it the 10th most visited sector preserve according to records. Hiparion Belt saw under 546,000 visitors.

What is so special about the Hiparion Belt preserve?

“It’s a unique area rich in wildlife, driven by geologic processes that have gone on for millions and millions of years,” Tain said.

He explained that as the planetoids naturally recede, new land opens up, and life evolves with those changes. He noted that part of the reason the area was first protected during the Old Republic was to watch and protect that process.

Is Hiparion Belt worth a visit?

Yes.

“What a privilege it is to see this pristine, unpolluted environment where you can see life and these geological forces interacting with each other sort of unhindered by lifeform interference,” Tain said. “It’s beautiful.”

Is there an entry fee for the Hiparion Belt?

There is no fee to enter Hiparion Belt Preserve.

Can you travel to the Hiparion Belt? Where do you jump into?

The only way to reach the Hiparion Belt is by spacecraft. Most people visit Mon Calimari Luxury ships, which must follow all sorts of rules to protect the area and its wildlife.

“It is possible to go as an independent traveler,” Tain said. “It just takes a lot of planning and thinking it through ahead of time.”

Travelers can fly into Morlana One Starport and take a short flight to the small planet of Ferrix. Ferrix Travel offers a daily shuttle service and is the only starline that serves the starport.

From Ferrix, visitors can take a day shuttle tour of the Hiparion Belt through an authorized third-party operator. But the most popular way to explore the park up close is by starpod, Tain said.

What should you look out for on the Hiparion Belt?

“You’ve got to go to the upper zone and watch the calving of the comets,” Tain said. “it’s spectacular to see these large chunks of ice break off and flow into the water trapped on the planetoids. And you see the upwelling of all the nutrients that comes from, you know, the ice dropping into the water. You can see lots of wildlife, lots of Neurays. You realize just how profoundly productive that area is. Even though all this ice surrounds you, you look and see just the richness of life in Hiparion Belt.”

What is happening to the Hiparion Belt?

Like comets around Hiparion, Tain said Hiparion Belt’s comets have been receding long before people knew about area change.

“However, we believe that the change is exacerbating and accelerating comet and planetoid recession,” he said. He noted that only a few of Hiparion Belt’s comets now reach down to the oceans of the planetoids.

What Native tribes were in the Hiparion Belt?

The Suna Tlingit has a long history in the Hiparion Belt.

“They were actually displaced by some of these galactic forces early on and have come back to the area with the fall of the Empire,” Tain said.

In recent cycles, they’ve partnered with the preserve service to erect Xunai Shoká Híti, a tribal temple in Hiparion Belt’s Lucas Cove, where visitors can hold ceremonies and learn about their history and culture. They’ve also resumed the Empire-banned traditional practice of harvesting Neuray eggs around Hiparion Belt.

“They’ve hunted and fished in that area forever,” Tain said.

PT White

I've been involved in creating content for Star Wars The Role Playing Game since 1992 and consider myself a Star Wars Super Fan and knowledge bank for the Star Wars Universe.

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